The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘UK politics’ Category

Vince Cable’s Brain Drain Subsidy

Posted by rantingkraut on July 15, 2010

Vince Cable’s proposal for a graduate tax is prominently discussed in the news. Cable proposes a graduate tax which would make repayments of student funding dependent on earnings. Partly, this is already the case: student loan repayments only start after a minimum earnings threshold has been reached. A graduate tax could vary more finely with the salary but, more importantly, it would probably not end after the original fees have been repaid.

This is the most important difference: the best and the brightest can easily skip repayment altogether by working abroad. If you owe the government a fixed amount of money any interest you have in clearing your debt does not vary with your place of residence. Your tax burden however does, hence there will be an added incentive for graduates Read the rest of this entry »

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“Hate Crimes” and equality before the law

Posted by rantingkraut on July 3, 2010

English history is the chronicle, from Magna Carta onwards, of a slow progress towards equality under the law. By the 20th century it had been fully attained; then it was imbalanced again. Creating “aggravated” crimes is a reversion to the Middle Ages when assaulting a Norman baron meant death, while attacking a churl entailed a fine.” (Gerald Warner in the Telegraph)

Posted in Civil Liberties, discrimination, quotes, UK politics | Comments Off on “Hate Crimes” and equality before the law

Tories to keep equality act

Posted by rantingkraut on July 3, 2010

This item briefly made the online headlines: The Tories are planning to press ahead with Harriet Harman’s equality bill requiring, among other measures, ‘gender pay audits’.

CBI director Katja Hall is quoted as saying: “Forcing companies to publish average salary figures for men and women could mislead people into thinking that women are paid less than men in the same role, which is rightly illegal, when differences will actually reflect the proportions of men and women in higher-paid jobs” (source)

Also of interest: Should we mind the Gap? from the iea for download here: pdf.

Posted in discrimination, In The News, Regulation, UK politics | Comments Off on Tories to keep equality act

Tell them which laws to scrap

Posted by rantingkraut on July 2, 2010

Nick Clegg has acked us which laws we want repealed. There is a government website that asks for suggestions and allows ratings. All those concerned about freedom of speech and due process should probably endorse this one proposal:

Repeal all terrorism acts from 2001 onwards in their entirety

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, In The News, Justice System, surveillance, UK politics | Comments Off on Tell them which laws to scrap

The Case for Scottish Independence

Posted by rantingkraut on May 9, 2010

Some of my best friends are Scottish, but … I still think they should be given their freedom -with all the financial responsibility that entails:

The Scots have two highly developed important cities and several great universities and medical schools; their intellectual and entrepreneurial tradition is second to none. They don’t need us.

Nor do we need them. Above all, we would be much better off without the notorious Barnett formula; it is obviously unfair that the Scots should receive more public money per head than the English, especially when their taxes and benefits are so different. Let them get on without us.” (source)

Posted in UK politics | Comments Off on The Case for Scottish Independence

Performance Targets and the Police

Posted by rantingkraut on May 3, 2010

The Scottish police seem to have noticed that target driven policing causes the police to focus on fulfilling targets rather than serving the public: “Speaking at the Scottish Police Federation annual conference last week she said the performance-related payment system was leading to a “car salesman” style of policing.

She said: “In Strathclyde Police we have senior officers refusing competency-related threshold payments and special payment applications as officers have not met the performance indicator targets set for anti-social behaviour fixed penalty notices, stop searches and other fixed penalty notices.” (source)

Apparently, things aren’t better in England either. One can only hope that the supposedly planned ‘bonfire of labour laws‘ will address this issue after a change in government.

Posted in Civil Liberties, In The News, Regulation, UK politics | Comments Off on Performance Targets and the Police

Can 77 Economists get it Wrong?

Posted by rantingkraut on April 15, 2010

Apparently 77 economists have sided with Brown in the following letter:

As expected, a key election issue concerns how much to cut government expenditure in 2010/11. The main opposition party now proposes to cut an extra £6 billion in 2010/11, on top of the measures already planned by the government. This cut is described as efficiency savings. But in macroeconomic terms it is just a cut by another name. It will lead directly to job losses and indirectly to further falls in spending through the standard multiplier process. At a time when recovery is delicate, it could even affect confidence to the degree that we are tipped back into recession – with much larger job consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Police Raid on Manchester

Posted by rantingkraut on February 20, 2010

It appears that the police has been laying siege to Manchester city centre in a massive fishing expedition. During the operation, pedestrians apparently had to pass airport style security checks just to walk down the pavement.

Given that the alleged reason Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Drugs, fence posts, In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Daniel Hannan and Enoch Powell

Posted by rantingkraut on August 28, 2009

To see what exactly Daniel Hannan said about Powell, take ten minutes and watch this. It is a ten minute clip worth watching. As for Powell himself, Hannan did specifically refer to his views on national independence (not surprising for a Eurosceptic) and advocacy of small government, not his views on immigration.Anyway, it is nice to see some room for dissent in a major party.

Posted in In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

More cynicism required: confronting labour’s creeping totalitarianism

Posted by rantingkraut on August 19, 2009

In discussing Labour’s decade of totalitarian legislation, Adam LeBor draws the following comparison in The Times:

The phrase Big Brother has entered common parlance. But Orwell’s book was published in 1949 as communist regimes in Eastern Europe cemented their control through “salami tactics”. These were invented by Matyas Rakosi, Hungary’s communist leader from 1948-56. He sliced away freedoms sliver by sliver, until he established one of the most feared dictatorships in Eastern Europe.

(…)

In my more cynical moments I imagine Labour ministers following a similar methodology. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Justice System, quotes, UK politics | Tagged: , | Comments Off on More cynicism required: confronting labour’s creeping totalitarianism